Winter in the heart of the coolest ski resort in the Alps
The towns of Saalbach and Hinterglemm were merged into a common municipality and became globally famous in 1991 after the World Championships in Alpine Disciplines. It was then that many heard for the first time in their lives of these ski resorts in the province of Salzburg.
Thanks to the World Cup, a lot has been invested in infrastructure and the expansion of the quantity and quality of the offer and accommodation, so that today this place of 3,000 inhabitants hosts as many as 16,000 tourists in winter.
A place for families or parties?
Hinterglemm and Saalbach are two different worlds amongst themselves. Hinterglemm is a quieter, family-oriented town, while a slightly younger and somewhat more unrestrained audience gathers in Saalbach. The more mundane world gathers in the hamlet of Lengau. How much fun awaits you in Saalbach can be anticipated by exploring the après ski program that lasts until the early morning hours. There seems to be no sleep at all, and given the offer of bars, restaurants, and clubs, it would really be a shame to sleep away your time there.
As almost everywhere in Austria, the ski season here starts at the end of November (in the 2020/21 season it will start on November 27th) and usually lasts until Easter (in the 2020/21 season, it is planned to end on April 11th). Whether you are trying out your skis for the first time ever or you are already a true ski professional, 270 kilometres of perfectly maintained trails and 70 modern cable cars await you.
Around Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn, there are 10 alpine peaks and as many starting points for descending white trails. Thanks to artificial snow, it is possible to ski here until mid-spring. Schattberg (2,020 meters), which can be reached by the X-press, as well as Zwölfer (1,984 meters), are for fans of adrenaline stimuli because there are several difficult descents possible on them. Other trails in the region are a mostly medium and light difficulty.
Opposite them, on the ski slopes between Spieleckkogel and Wildenkarkogel, you can descend much more relaxed. Due to the exceptional natural position, it is possible to go around all the peaks in a roundabout. There is a free shuttle bus every 20 minutes between Jausern and Hochalm, the endpoints for the cable cars. A little behind the hill, but connected by a network of cable cars and trails, is the place of Leogang. From there, the cable cars run to Big and Small Asitz, with 50 kilometers of trails, also connected to Saalbach by cable car.
Two ski passes are available: the Salzburger Super Ski Card, which is valid throughout the Salzburg region, and the Ski Alpine Card, which is valid for this area, as well as for Zell am See and Kaprun. News for the 2020/2021 season is an Alpine Card Navigator. It is a new trail application with visual and audio navigation for the entire Alpine Card region.
Entertainment and gastronomy
Very often in marketing materials for these places the title “ski arena” or “ski circus” is used, which aims to describe the diversity and variety of the offer, according to the principle: fun, relaxation, and something for everyone. It is clear that the après ski offer also fits into that description perfectly. For example, the “Hinterhagalm” hall is a discotheque in the afternoon and a place for gourmets in the evening. No one seems to mind dancing in the former pool.
40 mountain huts are offering good food with regional cuisine and specialties, and various knödel (rolls), prepared in a different hundred ways, are on the menus of each.
The offer of sports facilities
The cross-country ski trail is only about 10 kilometres away, but if you want to do this sport and stay here at the same time, the bus line goes to Maishofen, which has a rich offer of trails. The region is proud to offer a fun park, as well as a lighted snow park with the most modern layout and maintenance. The offer on other sports is as follows: skating, speed skating, tennis, squash, swimming, and the usual winter activities (sledding on three illuminated toboggan runs, of which the longest is 4.5 kilometres, curling, etc.). Leogang also has go-cart tracks on the ice.
If you’ve ever wondered what curling is, it’s a game similar to bowling – two teams with four players each should, according to the rules similar to bowling, slide their flattened ball as close as possible to the set target. In the beginning, until you get some practice, it can be quite a challenge for your hands.
What is certain is that this ski resort is one of the best in Austria and you will certainly not go wrong if you choose it for your winter holidays.